Thursday, March 4, 2010

Iraq's Democracy: Signs of Consolidation

By: Ali Rawaf
As the elections approach, I am just more and more amazed at what has become of Iraq. Don't get me wrong, we don't have a complete democracy yet but it is consolidating.

If you have been following, parties are really competeing for people's votes. Though it is an old method of campaigning, Baghdad's streets are full of posters of candidates. The Iraqi TV and other Arab channels are playing campaign advertisements over and over. What is most interesting is how the society have really utilized technology in politics. Social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter are full of Iraqi politicians that keep reminding people to go and cast out their votes like this facebook status update from the Al-Iraqiya List Chairman, Ayad Allawi's Facebok page, "We urge all Iraqis to vote, every vote is a vital step on the road to real change and a brighter future for Iraq."

In retrospect, Iraqis, when asked about for which candidate they are going to vote, they used to have a ready answer that would pertain to basis of religiosity and sectariansim. When asked Al-Jazeera correspondednt, "For which candidate are you going to vote?" The Iraqi interviewee retorted, "I don't know yet, there are many of them." Watch the video here

Reprots state that the majority of Iraqis will vote this time as a apposed to last election round, where mostly Shiites and Kurds voted. This will of the Iraqi people to further and advance this democratic political process reveals how the country ha left behind ethnic division and sectarian violence in addition to their strong apposition to the terrorist groups in the country.

I hope that if there is one thing this election can show the world, it would be how determined and desperate people we are to have a states that respects rights, freedoms, and democracy.

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